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tv   Newsline  PBS  January 4, 2012 7:00pm-7:30pm PST

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preparing for the unexpected, japan's nuclear watchdog pushes municipalities around nuclear power plants to increase safety measures. the japanese government has tripled the size of emergency zones around nuclear plants. the zones now extend to 30 kilometers, more than 130 japanese municipalities are now required to expand their preparations for nuclear accidents. the nuclear safety commission decided to expand the zones in november. the government had issued evacuation orders to those in a 30-kilometer zone around the
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fukushima-daiichi nuclear plant. so government leaders revised safety zones to match that. the expansion includes not only communities hosting nuclear power plants but also surrounding municipalities. these local governments must now boost disaster preparedness by setting evacuation routes and securing shelters. the government almost tripled the funding for nuclear disaster preparedness to more than $100 million in a budget plan for the next fiscal year. municipalities within the expanded emergency zone will need further financial help. the disaster contaminated topsoil across a wide area. now two levels of government are fighting over where to store it. the central government wants to build a facility in futaba county in fukushima prefecture inside the no-entry zone around the plant. but the mayor of the town of futaba says residents don't want it there. >> translator: we have been
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forced to evacuate en masse because of radiation. i cannot allow the construction of a facility that would continue to keep us from returning to our homes. >> the central government requested late last month to build the temporary storage facility in futaba county. the county has eight municipalities. authorities in some of them say they have no choice now accept the proposal. they've asked fukushima prefecture to play a leading role in coordinating the plan. >> translator: there are various opinions within the district. i have to listen to each of them before i respond to the central government. >> a senior official from the environment ministry says the conflicting views will be taken into account, but the official says they need to build the facility without any more delays. people in northeastern japan are welcoming the new year after surviving last year's disaster. ♪
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>> schoolgirls expressed their hope for the region's quick reconstruction with a demonstration of caligraphy skills. the new year performance took place at a shopping mall. the girls took turns using a 15-kilogram brush while dancing to music by the japanese pop group akb48. they worked together to write the chinese character for soul. a sake maker has celebrated the new year with its first release since the march disaster. the 160-year-old brewery resumed production three weeks ago. it was rebuilt on the site of the former plant which was destroyed by the tsunami. the brewmaster says he's happy that the new sake has the same high quality it's always had. he hopes lots of people will enjoy it. ♪
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kicking off 2012 on a high note, six meters high to be precise, construction workers take turns on the ladder. their acrobatic stunts are a new year tradition. one performer holds a banner that reads, "rebuild." this year's event had to be relocated. the usual shrine is in the no-entry zone around the daiichi plant. the u.s. treasury secretary is preparing for an asian tour to discuss common interests with heads of state. we have that story and more. >> timothy geithner is expected to discuss the european dut problems among other things. he is planning to visit china and japan early next week. the treasury department said on wednesday that geithner will meet chinese premiere wen jiabao in beijing next tuesday. geithner will also meet the vice
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president, the presumed successor to president hu jintao. the purpose is to discuss the visit to the u.s. later this year. geithner will then meet japan's prime minister noda and the finance minister. during his visits to china and japan, geithner is also expected to explain about the new sanctions that the u.s. will impose on iran. these are aimed at discouraging foreign firms and central banks from dealing with iran, which is under pressure to stop its nuclear development. let's turn to markets now. tokyo share prices are falling this tning as investors sell export-related issues. concerns about the european debt crisis are resurfacing. the nikkei currently at 8,512. that's down nearly 50 points. a loss of over half a percent on the day. topics also -- topix also trading down nearly half a percent at 739.
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sources say that sellers are being placed on electric and machinery issues as the yen is gaining ground against the euro in the currency market. in fact, the euro weakened to the lower 99 yen level on rekindled worries about debt problems. the yen at 99.19 to 25 against the yen. the market players are recognizing again the seriousness of the european economy. that comes after a major italian bank announced that it will offer new stocks at a massive discount in order to raise funds. the dollar against the yen is currently at 76.70-71. let's look at the latest long-term interest rates. this is the yield on the benchmark ten-year japanese government bond. the accidents at fukushima-daiichi nuclear plant forced the japanese to rethink their relationship with power generation. many were already leery about nuclear energy, and shutting down reactors puts even more
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pressure on a country struggling for electricity. now leaders are trying to find new sources. we went to the former nuclear engineer for answers, a leading advocate of renewable energy and part of a government panel reviewing energy policy. mr. ita, japan has the world's third largest number of nuclear reactors with 54. and in fact, up until march of 2011, nuclear energy took a share of 29% out of all energy in japan. today, of course, most of those nuclear reactors are not in operation, nor are there plans to make new ones. so what is in the future for nuclear energy? >> yeah, in the short term, the nuclear -- all of the nuclear power is hit down until the spring, and sooner or later the -- most of the nuclear power is so aged, so the -- at the
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longest, in 40 years' time, all the nuclear will be shut down in japan. so we need alternative. get alternative power source. that is energy. >> aren't the arguments against renewable energy that it's expensive, and that it's unstable? >> compared to fuel and nuclear and energy, most of the generation is already cheaper, especially the oil has much expensive as like wind. the nuclear has a huge liability co cost, and also the waste disposal cost has almost unlimited. so compared to those, the uncertainty of the costs of nuclear energy much, much cheaper. and the instability is not actually the center of the issues because all the power mix
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can compensate the energy -- the fluctuationses with gas and hydro. >> speaking of renewable energy, japan is planning its own full-fledged introduction of renewable energy in july of 2012 with what is called the feed-in tariff. wind, solar, other forms of green energy will be sold to power utilities. and it's going to be sold at a fixed price that the government fixed for a fixed period of time. >> yep. >> power utilities, in return, will be able to pass along those additional costs to their customers. >> yep. >> so do you think renewable energy can become popular in japan? >> i expect nuclear energy can be popular. for example, the germany case, they introduced ten years before the feed-in tariff. at that time only 6% of nuclear energy of the power mix in germany. but within ten years, the 6%
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increased to 17% by 2010. and they are aiming 35% by 2020 and 80% by 2050 so that it's successful in germany. so then why we japanese cannot achieve the same success in germany. >> what kind of hopes can we hope for? what kind of effects can we hope for from renewable energy on japan's economy? >> yeah, the nuclear energy promotions create the huge potential of economic growth because we can eliminate the fossil fuel imports. those can use the nuclear energy promotions. so it creates a larger market in japan that stimulates japanese industry to create new
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technology or new business models to compete in the global market. >> mr. iida, thank you very much for your insights today. >> thank you for inviting me. >> all right. let's get your recap now of the latest market figures. ♪ ♪ well, that's the latest in business. back to you. >> thank you very much. u.s. republicans are moving their political machine to new hampshire. the northeastern state will host the next stage in the process to find the party's candidate for the presidential election this
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fall. former massachusetts governor mitt romney won the first round with his victory tuesday at the iowa caucuses. the moderate republican hopes to challenge president barack obama in november. he defeated former senator rick santorum by just eight votes. romney has already arrived in new hampshire to prepare for the primary next tuesday. he appealed for support at a gathering in the state's largest city, manchester. he said the country needs a leader who can run the country or run the economy. >> it is time for barack obama to go home and for someone who understands the economy to lead the country. he went out and said he was going borrow $787 billion from your generation to pay back, and he was going to do that to hold unemployment below 8%. not been below 8% since. >> romney accepted the endorsement of senator john mccain. the republican nominee in the 2008 election. romney enjoys a strong lead in
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the new hampshire polls. santorum will try to build on momentum with support from conservatives. he and others including former house speaker newt gingrich will need better results if they hope to stay in the race. the top u.s. diplomat for asia has met with chinese officials to discuss the situation in north korea. assistant secretary of state kurt campbell is the highest level u.s. official to visit the region since the death of north korean leader kim jong-il campbell met separately with china's vice foreign ministers in beijing on wednesday. campbell spoke with reporters after the meetings. >> north korea, i think the united states and china share strong determination to maintain peace and stability. >> campbell told the ministers that the u.s. wants to continue to exchange views with china about north korea. another u.s. official said that china wants to monitor the progress of the new north korean
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leader, kim jong-un. nhk's correspondent in beijing says that china is exercising caution to avoid provoking north korea. pro-democracy activists in myanmar are saying the number of political prisoners released by the government so far falls short of what western countries had expected. the pro-democracy activists say at least 33 short-term prisoners have been freed, far fewer than the more than 1,000 prisoners the united states and european nations have set as a condition for lifting economic sanctions. the activists also say no major political prisoners serving long sentences have been granted amnesty. that includes those involved in activities against the former military-led government. last month u.s. secretary of state hillary clinton urged the current military dominated myanmar government to release all political prisoners. on wednesday president thein sein called for national reconciliation in his
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independence day statement. he did not mention the release of political prisoners. the german president is refusing to resign felt a german newspaper accused him of trying to cover up a story about a loan scandal. the paper reported last month that in 2008 he received a low-interest loan before 500,000 euros or about $650,000 from the wife of a businessman. the loan at 4% interest rate was not illegal, but it was about 1% below market rate. he said on monday that the president called its editor and tried to stop publication of a report on the loan. "the daily" says that wulff later apologized. wulff became president with the strong endorsement of chancellor angela merkel. the scandal could be a major blow to merkel. she's trying to deal with the european debt crisis and gain cooperation from opposition
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parties. most professional athletes retire by the time they reach 30, so it's unusual to find one who's still at it at age 40. we picked such an ageless wonder to start a three-day series on people and events we expect to stand out in 2012. she's still going strong on the pro tennis circuit at age 41. we asked how she stays in the game. >> hello. you must be kimiko. nice to meet you. >> nice to meet you. [ speaking native language ] [ applause ] >> reporter: she turned pro at
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18 and ascended the rankings to number four in the world. she retired at the age of 26. at 37, she decided she wanted back in. 11 years is a long time away from a game, especially since speed and power have come to be even more important during that time. but she's still a contender. at the 2011 wimbledon chi championships she faced venus williams. what do you watch to predict what your opponent will do? >> translator: while facing her in court, i try to get a sense of her tendencies. i want to see if she's driven to a corner or nervous on the offense. i watch her face closely. when she looks aggressive, i try to foresee her moves.
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>> reporter: here's a scene from the second round of the 2009 japan open. date-krumm's in the backcourt. watch her return. before her opponent made the shot, she had already begun dashing forward. based on the opponent's movements and eye direction, she instantly predicted where the ball would be coming. she also sensed which way the opponent would move, allowing her to hit the ball to the opposite side. people who follow tennis say date-krumm starts moves more quickly than others once she senses what's up. a tennis match lasts three or four hours or even more. being in your 40s, do you ever feel it's physically too
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demanding? >> translator: sometimes i felt like my recovery ability is the enemy. i do everything i can to help myself bounce back quickly. i drink the right kind of liquids, pay attention to what i eat, and sleep well. >> narrator: she became 41 years old last year and played 43 matches around the world. this is not the senior circuit. she's up against players who are at the top of their game in their prime. how long do you think you can remain on the world stage? >> translator: definitely in 2012 and some years to come. i'll take things year by year and let my feelings tell me what to do. >> translator: what keeps you so
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devoted to the game? >> translator: speed and power aren't always the winning combination. experience, climate conditions, wind, sunlight, even the crowd can have a big effect on who winds a-- who wins and who lose. that you will makes tennis a drama. that's the real thrill. it's the best part of the game and what keeps me absorbed in the sport. >> translator: are you having more fun right now than during your 20s? >> translator: yes, of course. >> translator: you are? >> translator: because when i was 20, i felt so much pressure from the other player and everything -- myself also. so i felt so much pressure. so i enjoying it very much more than 20. >> translator: all right, that's great to hear. thank you very much. >> thank you. the first week of the year
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is bringing wintry conditions to some parts of japan. with more on that and the rest of the world weather picture, here's our report. >> welcome back to "weather update." we are looking at wintry weather across most of japan. what that means, very dry across the pacific side and snowy across the western side of the nation. areas from hokkaido, we are seeing heavy snow. an additional 50 centimeters of snow are still possible in the northern areas, and 20 to 30 centimeters in the rest of the areas by friday morning. and it looks like snow will likely continue in the northern areas over the next couple of days. and strong winds are blowing over the nation, so that is causing very high waves along the coast. meanwhile, a mix of rain and san mateo is gradually tapering off
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over the southern portion of china. but taiwan will stay wet throughout today and down toward the philippines, remaining wet again, and particularly wet along the east coast of the central and southern portions of the country today. and across the peninsula, things will get very dry across the northern areas, but vietnam will continue to see rain throughout thursday. temperaturewise, dipping to the single digits in tokyo with eight degrees. and minus one in seoul. cooler than average in shanghai with four degrees and six degrees in cheongching. a system is continuously bringing wet and gusty conditions to the area. the northern area experienced strong winds yesterday. to give you some idea how strong the wind was, let's take a look at some footage coming out of this area.
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late tuesday the weather turned violent from the low country into germany. workers in northern germany spent the night removing fallen trees and debris. they suffered damage from extremely stormy weather. ferry services were affected. in belgium, a barge reportedly sank due to the severe weather conditions. and today southern germany and slovakia are on the highest alert for strong winds. gusts could hit 180 kilometers per hour. a mix of rain and snow will spread widely over most of the european countries. and particularly snowy in the alpine region. we're expecting about 80 centimeters of snow by friday. you will notice that things will get calmer and drier across the british isles 24 hours. down toward the south, a separate system is causing high waves along the coast of southern italy. temperaturewise, still warmer than average in london with 10
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and 12 degrees in paris and across the east, 4 degrees expected in warsaw, and the same goes for kiev. that's it from me now. here's your extended forecast. ♪
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our lead story this hour -- the japanese government has tripled the size of emergency zones around nuclear plants. the zones now extend to 30 kilometers. more than 130 japanese municipalities are now required to expand their preparations for nuclear accidents. the nuclear safety commission decided to expand the zones in november. the governme had issued evacuation orders to those in a 30-kilometer zone around the damaged fukushima-daiichi nuclear plant. government leaders revised their safety zones to match that. the expansion includes not only
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communities hosting nuclear power plants but also surrounding municipalities. these local governments must now boost disaster preparedness by setting evacuation routes and securing shelters. the government almost tripled the funding for nuclear disaster preparedness to more than $100 million in a budget plan for the next fiscal year. municipalities within the expanded emergency zone will need further financial help. u.s. republicans are moving their political machine to new hampshire. the northeastern state will host the next stage in the process to find the party's candidate for the presidential election this fall. former massachusetts governor mitt romney won the first round with his victory tuesday at the iowa caucuses. the moderate republican hopes to challenge president barack obama in november. he defeated former senator rick santorum by just eight votes. romney has already arrived in new hampshire to prepare for the primary next tuesday. he appealed for support at a
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gathering in the largest city, manchester. he said the country needs a leader who can run the economy. >> it's time for barack obama to go home and for someone who understands our economy to lead this country. he went out and said he was going to borrow $787 billion from your generation to pay back, and he was going to do that to hold unemployment below 8%. not been below 8% since. >> romney accepted the endorsement of senator john mccain, the republican nominee in the 2008 presidential election. romney enjoys a strong lead in new hampshire polls. santorum will try to build on his momentum with support from conservatives. he and others including former house speaker newt gingrich will need better results if they hope to stay in the race. that's all for this edition of "newsline." reporting from tokyo, thanks for joining us. -- captions by vitac --
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